Where did the beach go?  Have you ever noticed what happens to the coast line when a big storm rolls through?  Why does the beach look different? What you are noticing is the effect of coastal erosion, and now you can set up a beach erosion activity and demonstration to show your kids what’s happening.  This fun and easy ocean science activity is sure to be a hit with your kids, with hands-on learning!

COASTAL EROSION DEMONSTRATION AND ACTIVITY FOR KIDS

coastal erosion demonstration for ocean science with kids

LEARN ABOUT EROSION

Break out the sensory play as you get ready to add this beach erosion demonstration and activity to your OCEAN theme lesson plans. If you want to learn about what’s going on between the sand and the waves, let’s dig in (into sand – literally!).  While you’re at it, make sure to check out more fun Ocean Activities. 

Our science activities and experiments are designed with you, the parent or teacher, in mind!  Easy to set up, quick to do, most activities will take only 15 to 30 minutes to complete and are heaps of fun!  Plus, our supplies lists usually contain only free or cheap materials you can source from home!

COASTAL EROSION FOR KIDS

Let’s explore beach erosion by building a model! This is a great hands-on ocean STEM activity that is sure to get kids thinking!

This beach erosion activity asks a few questions!

  • What is coastal erosion?
  • What causes beach erosion?
  • How can we stop erosion?

Let’s explore the answers together!

PRINT THE PROJECT: Click here or on the image below.

beach erosion printable sheet

YOU WILL NEED:

  • White paint pan

  • Rocks

  • Sand

  • Water

  • Blue food coloring

  • Plastic bottle

  • Large pan or tray.

Supplies needed for beach erosion activity.

HOW TO SET UP A BEACH EROSION MODEL:

STEP 1: Add about 5 cups of sand to one side of your pan.  You will want to build it up on a slope so that when water is added some of the sand is higher.

STEP 2: Place some rocks or shells in the sand for a beach theme!

Place sand in half the tray. Make sure it's sloping.

STEP 3: Fill a small bottle with water, add a drop of blue food coloring, shake and pour into the deep part of your pan.

STEP 4: Add 4 more cups of water.

Add water to the pan

STEP 5: Use the empty bottle to press up and down in the water to make waves.

STEP 6: Pay attention to how the water affects the sand. What happens if the waves move faster or slower?

CLASSROOM TIPS

Be prepared! Kids are going to loving play with this, and it could get a bit messy.

Further Extension: Have kids come up with ideas for something they can make that will help prevent beach erosion during a storm!

WHAT IS BEACH EROSION?

Beach erosion is the loss of beach sand, usually from a combination of wind and water movement such as waves and currents. Sand is moved off the beach or shore by these things and is transferred to deeper water. This process makes beaches appear shorter and lower. You can see severe beach erosion after a strong storm like a hurricane.

erosion of sand into the ocean

HOW CAN WE STOP COASTAL EROSION?

Coastal erosion is the loss of coastal land due to the removal of sand or rock from the shoreline.  Sadly, building along the coast can damage sand dunes. Dunes are mounds of sand that separate the beach you walk on and higher ground. The roots of dune grasses help keep the sand in place. Try not to walk on the dune grasses, so they are not destroyed!

People sometimes build walls called jetties that stick out into the ocean and change the movement of the sand.

Seawalls can also help with erosion. This is a structure separating land and water areas. It generally helps prevent erosion from large waves. Seawalls are more significant structures where flooding is more common. Please don’t remove rocks from the seawall!

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR OCEANS

SIMPLE BEACH EROSION ACTIVITY FOR OCEAN SCIENCE

Discover more fun and easy science & STEM activities right here. Click on the link or on the image below.

Best ever STEM and science activities for kids.

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